Jade became part of the Rigg household in 1984 when James met someone down the lane (near our old house) who was looking for one of our former neighbours who in turn was an animal lover and looked after a large number of unwanted or abandoned dogs and cats. Anyway, this person in the lane had rescued a cat that was abandoned in a ditch and found herself with lots more cats a few days later... she had rescued a pregnant female. Following James' chat that day we received a visit and later adopted two of the kittens, Jade and Amber. Amber was killed on the road outside our new home a few years later. Jade was very emotionally disturbed by this, went very quiet and looked very lonely. She even seemed to go on hunger strike and would only eat if we fed her by giving her small amounts of tuna on a finger tip. She is still very much dependent on us now, and hates it when we're out... she notices instantly when one or more of us is leaving for somewhere, and she runs out to the car meowing when we come back to an empty house...
In our new home Jade developed a liking for James' empty fish tank which she used as a solarium. When he finally got round to putting fish in it she then took to drinking from the tank, but never attempted to catch the fish, so we can only guess that she was trying to catch the fish by drinking them out of a home... She is extremely timid and will hide upstairs somewhere if we have any guests, particularly if we have large numbers of guests for a party or something. She even used to squeeze herself under the wardrobe in the master bedroom and hide in the corner.
Today (Aug. 1997) Jade is beginning to show her age. She's going grey in places (well, white actually) and she's not the slightest bit interested in any trivial games... wave some string, throw a jingling ball, she's just not impressed. She even now ignores bird sound effects both on TV and computer.
Following various family moves (Alex moved to Guildford, James to Croydon) Jade became very quiet and lonely and didn't get as much attention as before. In January (1998) Malcolm and Patricia were preparing to move to "something a bit smaller" but there was a catch: because they hadn't found anything but have already got a buyer they were arranging to move into rented accommodation for a while. The catch was that most landlords do not permit pets. For a while we all though we'd have to make a horrible journey to the vet and have Jade put down to save her the anguish she would suffer of being in a cattery for several weeks (or even several months) followed by moving to a new house in a new area she is unfamiliar with. She's 14 after all.
But there was a happy ending! Jade has moved (5th January 1998) to Ightham to stay with Stephen and Nickola where she appears to be slowly making a new home. She certainly didn't like the one and a half hour car journey especially as her only previous experience of getting into a basket and then into the car is in order to go to the vet and the journey only lasts 10 minutes...
Jade has always prefered males and made a special point of curling up on Stephen's lap whenever the opportunity occurred. Stephen unfortunately developed melanoma but maintained his optimism (through surgery minor and major, experimental thalidomide-like drug therapy, chemotherapy) until finally he died in September 2002. Jade still looked in fine health thanks to the care lavished on her and the enormous amount of time she spent resting - still sometimes on Stephen who found her attention restful to himself. Eventually though having noticed she was almost completely deaf, and sometimes incontinent, the vet said that she too was drifting towards the end of her life. She died at over 18 years of age - a fine life for a cat. But we still miss her!!
Last updated: 27 November 2003 by Malcolm